Actor/Comedian Rob Riggle Joins Easter Seals Dixon Center to Reinforce Value of Employing Veterans
Air Force Veteran and Director Jim Fabio Awarded Mentorship with Judd Apatow and Opportunity to Direct Riggle and a Veteran Cast & Crew in New PSA
Retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, actor and comedian Rob Riggle stars in the third installment of Easter Seals Dixon Center’s award-winning PSA series. Released to coincide with Memorial Day , What to Wear uses light humor to highlight the strengths of returning veterans while reinforcing the valuable contribution they make in America’s workforce.
“Changing the conversation about how Americans perceive veterans is really important,” says Riggle, with 20+ years of military service. “These are hardworking, dedicated, innovative people who deserve quality employment when they return home from their military service.”
Riggle stars as an executive interviewing a job candidate who happens to also be a Marine Corps veteran (played by Air Force veteran Brice Williams). Riggle questions whether the interviewee has the right skill set to match the job’s various challenges. Throughout, Williams has flashbacks to his time in action, recalling experiences that prove he’s highly qualified. Riggle asks one final question that shakes the interviewee’s confidence for a moment before William’s answers like a true military veteran.
Easter Seals Dixon Center worked with its partner Veterans in Film and Television (VFT), a networking organization that unites current and former members of the military working in the film and television industry, to recruit a filmmaker for a special career-building opportunity to direct this PSA and received a mentorship session from award-winning director, producer and writer Judd Apatow.
More than 50 directorial candidates – all veterans – applied. Former Air Force Combat Camera Officer Jim Fabio was carefully selected based on criteria including an original PSA concept, video pitch, prior experience and film portfolio. In February 2015, Fabio spent time discussing the PSA with the influential director.
“I like Easter Seals Dixon Center’s approach. They’re using comedy to remind us that American veterans are highly skilled, disciplined and comfortable managing high-stress situations as a way to reinforce that veterans make strong employees,” says Apatow, the award-winning comedic power behind numerous films including “Anchorman,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Bridesmaids.”
Apatow, a passionate supporter of veterans, actively works with Easter Seals Dixon Center and VFT to hire veterans on his films and productions.
“Meeting with Judd Apatow and then having the chance to direct Rob Riggle has been an incredibly rewarding opportunity, and I’m grateful to Easter Seals Dixon Center and VFT for making this possible,” adds Fabio.
The PSAs are made possible through the Easter Seals Dixon Center and VFT partnership with support from Los Angeles-based cause marketing agency, CK&D. The trio of organizations is dedicated to helping veterans find career-driven employment.
“This latest PSA will continue to celebrate the unique, successful qualities of our veterans when they return from active duty, reminding employers they are among the best and brightest,” says David W. Sutherland, Colonel David W. Sutherland, U.S. Army (ret.), Chairman, Easter Seals Dixon Center and Chief Strategist, Easter Seals Military and Veterans Services. “We’re thrilled to work with Judd Apatow, Rob Riggle and Jim Fabio to break down barriers and connect individuals and organizations with solutions veterans and military families need to access meaningful employment, education, and healthcare in their communities.”
About Easter Seals Dixon Center: Easter Seals Dixon Center believes our veterans and military families can succeed where they live. Our mission is to ensure that’s possible in every community. We work to break down barriers, drive a new conversation about the potential of our veterans, engage organizations and communities, and connect veterans and military families with what they need for meaningful employment, education and overall wellness. Our national credibility and community-based reach – through 74 affiliates and 550 service sites – provides an unmatched, accessible resource and support for veterans and military families. Learn more at www.eastersealsdixoncenter.org.
About Jim Fabio: Fabio launched his career behind-the-camera as a Combat Camera Officer in the U.S. Air Force, producing documentaries and covering combat operations for the Department of Defense. Following his active duty service, Fabio continued to pursue his passion for filmmaking. He’s an accomplished director and producer, earning awards for his work in sports documentaries and children’s television.
About Veterans in Film and Television: Veterans in Film & Television is a nonprofit networking organization that unites current and former members of the military working in the film and television industry. Its unique website is a gateway for the entertainment industry and the veteran community that works in entertainment to connect, providing a place for veterans working or aspiring to work in entertainment a place to network with and learn from one another. Visit www.VFTLA.org to learn more.
About CK&D: CK&D is a cause marketing and media group that consults with leading charitable brands and Fortune 500 companies to create socially responsible marketing strategies that elevate your cause or issue to a global stage. CK&D is helping Easter Seals work closely with the entertainment community to create more positive stories about veteran contributions to the communities in which we live. Learn more at http://ckd-la.com.
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